259 jobs saved as HGV specialist is acquired out of administration

Martin Jenkins

Zenith has acquired the fleet services, rental and finance operations of the Cartwright Group from administrators for an undisclosed sum.

The move secures 259 jobs at sites across the UK.

The Leeds headquartered business is an independent leasing, fleet management and vehicle outsourcing firm. It has acquired Cartwright Fleet Services, Cartwright Rentals and Cartwright Finance sales, which will all continue to trade as part of Zenith.

The deal creates the UK’s largest HGV and specialist fleets with over 50,000 vehicles and one of the largest trailer rental fleets in the UK.

Servicing capabilities will be enhanced by combining Zenith’s network of specialist repair agents at workshops across the UK and in-house expertise.

The mobile technician fleet will grow to 60 and provide national coverage to help keep vehicles on the road.

Martin Jenkins, chief executive of the HGV and Specialist Vehicles Division and group strategy director at Zenith, said: “We are backing a talented management team and people across the three Cartwright businesses we have acquired, and we look forward to working with their customers, employees and suppliers alike.

“The businesses have a good reputation in their sector and are a great fit with the customer-first culture at Zenith.

“Bringing these operations together is an important step in our strategic growth plans and supports our position as the leading provider of fleet services across all asset types in the UK.”

Cartwright Group is a privately owned commercial trailer manufacturer, trailer rental and fleet services provider based in Altrincham, Cheshire, with rental depots across the UK including in Leeds, Glasgow and Aldridge.

It appointed Deloitte as administrators when Covid-19 and lockdown adversely impacted trading. Zenith has not acquired any of the manufacturing operations.

Tim Buchan, chief executive of Zenith, said: “We are continuing to strengthen our ability to provide a one-stop solution for our customers fleet requirements.

“The acquisition enhances our customer proposition and enables us to provide additional services for truck, trailer, van and car.

“The trailer rental market is critical to supporting peak periods of demand for supermarkets, home delivery and logistics companies, all of which are growing markets.”

Squire Patton Boggs partner John Alderton together with associates Jon Chesman and Emily Davis, all based in Leeds, advised Zenith on the acquisition.

An Addleshaw Goddard restructuring team, led by Tim Taylor, advised administrators Deloitte on the deal.